Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Truth...and I saw it right there in Sunday School

So, I live this typical, rather mundane existence where I know the names of some of the parents that watch soccer games with me, see the same cashiers at the grocery store, go to church with my makeup on most Sundays, smile, and in the rather current words of Miranda Lambert, "...hide my crazy..."  Life spins so quickly that most days I just go along with this system.

Inside I crave truth.

I have warmed more than a few pews.  I walk down the hall at church with my mind on my new sandals trying to decide if I want a soda or not and I pass exhausted mamas and worry-worn men and maybe your broken heart and I don't even know and I don't even ask.

But I crave truth.  Because, well, if we only knew, your heart and mine, they could be encouraged together, both you and me.  If we only knew.

So, a couple of months ago, our fellowship group (that's Sunday School for us old-timers) leader left the church to begin preparations to start a church in the northeast, a foreign land if there ever was one, at least from my perspective in rural North Carolina.  A member of our class stepped forward and continued the teaching with great humility and sincerity. medicine.  Anyway, someone came up with the idea of having people give their testimony, church talk for people telling their story about why they chose God.

I expected sweet little stories about vacation bible school and summer camps and youth pastors and prayers  and maybe a couple of wild stories about too much beer in high school and maybe a baptism in a river if things got charismatic.

What I didn't expect was the pouring out of raw reality.  Raw truth from the same people that chat over donuts and Mountain Dew on Sunday morning.

I didn't expect to see scars from old wounds and tears in grown men's eyes and husbands and wives holding each other tighter.

I didn't expect to hear about precious babies in heaven and the strength to air your dirty laundry right there in Sunday School so that someone else can be washed clean too.

I didn't expect for that sassy chick with the red hair to look right at me and challenge me, right there in a a skirt and sandals and give me big ideas, like maybe my husband is right and maybe I do have something useful to say, so that we could both be encouraged, you and me.  If only you knew.

But when all that happened, I wasn't surprised at what happened next.  I have seen it before.  When truth is laid out there on the table, like roses, complete only WITH the thorns, well, people can't help but think it is beautiful.

Once you know truth, you can't unknow it and nothing else will do and so those people, not the ones talking, the ones listening, they wouldn't let it stop.  They laid out truth too until, heaven help us, there was simply no time for the lesson and no one cares that we are two weeks behind on our quarterly because these people are on the hunt.  They have fed on truth and now maybe there is no going back because a grown man's heart is breaking over little girls being sold across the sea and there is a woman waiting for a man of God and marriages 33 days old and marriages 33 years old and new birth growing and a man who dares to say that a husband would go to the cross for his wife and something must be done about these things because people's souls are dying.

We can't unknow these truths.
We can't unknow these hearts, yours and mine.  It's too late.  It's real and alive.  It's truth and life and who knows whose truth will change a life?  And now we begin to know truth and we can be encouraged together, you and me.